Pickled Okra

A basic garlic pickle recipe.

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Around 2 years ago, B pointed out a Dilly Bean recipe in on of his old-timey magazines.  He wanted to know if I thought I could make them for him.  It didn’t look to hard, and I wanted to get more into canning things, so I said yes.  I got a lot of old mason jars from B’s mom, and we went to the farmer’s market to get fresh green beans.  They also had okra, and we both love pickled okra, so we picked up some, too.  I followed the recipe in the magazine, and we waited 3 weeks to try the results.  We were underwhelmed, to say the least.  So, I took to the internet to find better pickle recipes.

It turns out that most pickles are variations on the base pickle liquid with various spices.  When using white vinegar – the recipe is always 10:10:1 vinegar to water to salt.  I spent that summer tweaking the recipe to our tastes and by the end of the summer, I found one that all my friends raved about.  This summer, a friend with a garden planted extra okra for me to pickle, with the agreement that I share in the spoils.  Safe to say, I am pretty proud of my pickled okra.  I still use this recipe for other veggies too, and green beans are pretty good (we could out that B doesn’t like pickled green beans ever, but loves other pickled veggies).  Last week, we pickled carrots, so I’m curious to see how those will come out.

 

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Red and green okra along with some sliced banana peppers.

Pickling it pretty easy , though.  Here’s my process.

Heat the pickling liquid to a slow boil:

The 10:10:1 ratio is great if you are doing a huge batch, but I typically do 1.5 tablespoons salt per 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar.  (This covers about one to one and a half quarts of okra depending on the fullness of the jar.)  You can also save any leftover in a spare mason jar for the next batch.

Preparing the jars: 

Sterilize the canning jars (I just boil them in a big pot, since you’ll have to boil them again, but you can also use the sterilize option on newer dishwashers.)  I recommend the wide mouth for larger veggies, but you can use normal for sliced veggies.

In each quart jar (half for pint jars):

  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1 tbsp dill seed
  • (can substitute 6-8 fresh dill sprigs for both the dill weed and seed if you have them)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes (optional)
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After the water bath, the red okra was more subdued.

Then, fill jar with okra (or green beans, or artichokes or whatever veggie you want to pickle).  If you are doing cucumbers for actual pickles, be sure to use the ones without waxed skins.  Be sure to prep your veggies the same way you would for steaming (cutting off stems, cleaning, etc.).  The veggies will shrink a little with the pickling process so stuff as many as you can in the jar without damaging the veggies themselves.  For okra, this means listening and making sure they aren’t cracking down the sides.

Cover veggies in pickling liquid (above) and leave .5in of space at the top.

Water bath can the jars:

  • Sterilize rings and lids
  • Seal jars and Place in pot with water 2 inches over the lids
  • Boil for 11-15 mins (depending on altitude this may be up to 20 mins)
  • Take jars out of pot and place on counter
  • Listen for the pop of the lids to seal.

If they have not sealed after 12 hours, place in fridge – these will be good for around 6 months.  Those that sealed are shelf stable for around 18 months.

Do not eat until 3 weeks after canning (either on shelf or in fridge) to give time for pickling to happen.  Then enjoy!

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